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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Breaking up for college, but he thinks there's a high chance of getting back together

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Author Topic: Breaking up for college, but he thinks there's a high chance of getting back together
michiru
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Hi everyone. My boyfriend and I agreed to break up when we both go off to our separate colleges, but my boyfriend recently told me he only considers us half broken up, because he thinks there's a high possibility of us getting back together. He also discusses things like getting an apartment together or vacationing over the summer. While those things do sound nice, and while I do still have feelings for him and I will miss him, I'm just not so certain I can promise the same thing to him, that we will probably get back together. I don't want to be tied down in college or constantly be thinking about my relationship or having obligations to him, and I want to develop independence and experience life with freedom. I also feel like I will want to date other people at some point or another, because he is my first boyfriend. I don't know what to do when he tells me he is so certain he will want me back after the next four years, and I'm not so sure I can promise that. Is there any way to avoid the hurt? Is he just being naive and will he snap out of it?
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whilemyguitargentlyweeps
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Hi michiru,

I'm sorry you're in this situation. It's always rough to break it off with people right before uni. It sounds like you've given your relationship a lot of thought, and I'm glad you know what you want, even if you're feeling conflicted. Have you talked to your boyfriend about how you feel? Specifically, have you told him that you might like to see other people and explained why you feel the way you do?

hope it works out!

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michiru
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I haven't because he's already kind of upset about the fact that I'm leaving so soon and I don't want to pile it on top of that or anything, I guess. We have talked about hooking up with other people and the like, but I think he views them more as causal flings, I think, and I think I might want to seriously date at some point in college, though I'm not sure yet, and probably not in the next two years or so.

[ 08-18-2011, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: michiru ]

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whilemyguitargentlyweeps
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I realise it's a bad time, but what happens if you meet someone early on at college and enter into a relationship? Your boyfriend might be even more hurt then. Or what if he meets someone? It's important to lay out expectations. It's perfectly fine to decide that you might get back together, but you want to agree on some things.

For example, how open will you be with each other? Can he ask about your hookups/dates/relationships? Will you tell him? What if he sees a picture of you on Facebook?

You don't need answers to all those questions, but you should have some boundaries. In my opinion, it may be better to sort things out now than hurt him later if and when you decide to see someone else (either casually or in a relationship).

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Heather
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How about you ask him to stop talking about possible future plans?

In other words, it seems like some of the issue here is that he wants to talk about a maybe-future now that a) isn't anytime soon and b) you aren't so sure will happen, anyway.

You agreed to break up, so I think it's fair to hold him to that agreement. If he is having conflicted feelings about that, perhaps you can ask to talk about that, rather than to go along with what he's saying about being "half" broken up?

You might also make clear that talking about the way-ahead future now, when you're just starting your whole own new future with school is just too much, as I can see why it would be. You, I get the impression, want to focus on your right now and your near-future, understandably (it's exciting to go off to school!). You can make clear you need him to stop talking about what might be years for now, that right now, you just can't conceptualize that. You can also make clear that if he's asking for promises, you can't make them, and you also feel uncomfortable being asked to when you agreed to split.

And, if that really upsets him, it sounds like more talking about your breakup is needed, since him talking about the future may basically be about his feeling conflicted about breaking up.

(That all came out a little convoluted, so holler if I wasn't clear.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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